How Misidentifications Lead to Wrongful Convictions
Innocence Project Eyewitness Identification Litigation Fellow Karen Newirth sat down with Lawyers.com at the American Bar Association annual meeting in Chicago to discuss the unreliability of eyewitness misidentification and how it can lead to wrongful convictions.
In case after case, DNA has proven what scientists already know — that eyewitness identification is frequently inaccurate. Newirth describes how the human mind is not like a tape recorder and that memory can be influenced and altered. After a crime, a victim’s memory is evidence and must be handled as carefully as the crime scene itself to avoid forever altering it.
Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in nearly 75% of the 297 convictions overturned through DNA testing.
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